b'W h yp R ayc o M p l i n e ?Almost ten years ago I was introduced to the servicewho pray it a fitting and God-centered end to their day, of Compline found in the Book of Common Prayer. Ianchoring our busy and sometimes chaotic lives in the was taking a group of youth to a mission trip focusedunchanging love of God. It can also be prayed in about on encountering disorienting dilemmas, where youngfiveminutes,andisflexibleenoughtofitjustabout people were safely put into a variety of situations whereanyones schedule. If the full liturgy seems daunting, they served different kinds of people, and experiencedyou can skip the additional readings or simply take only things they never had before. We painted houses in thea part of it and say it as you prepare for bed. projects, worshiped with charismatic evangelicals underRightnowwithourthirddaughterbeingborn,it abridgeandprayedancientliturgieswithaGreekissometimesdifficulttofindeventhefiveminutes Orthodox community. It was certainly disorienting, as Inecessarytoreadtheseprayers.Soeachnightwhen and the youth involved encountered different ChristianIm putting our twenty month old to bed, I hold her expressions and various ways to serve people in the city.close to my chest as she starts to suck her thumb. She Eachnightafteralloftheseintenseencounters,weleans in and I pray the Nunc Dimittis that concludes the gathered up the hundreds of students and volunteers toCompline liturgy. pray Compline. What at first was rushed and awkward, by the end of the week became a precious gift, as theGuide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping; that liturgy and the prayers became an anchor for us. Theawake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest students themselves grew to love these simple prayersin peace. Lord, you now have set your servant free to go in and seek to volunteer to be one of the readers.peace as you have promised; For these eyes of mine have A few months ago when I arrived here at GHTC I wasseen the Savior, whom you have prepared for all the world thrilled to hear that our college students met weekly toto see: A Light to enlighten the nations, and the glory of pray Compline together on Wednesday nights. I haveyour people Israel.alsobeensurprisedhowfewmembersofthechurchThese beautiful words come to us from the Gospel of know this is happening. Each week a handful of VCULuke when Simeon sees the child Jesus in the temple. students set aside their busy schedules and projects to sitThis is the prayer I have prayed with parishioners as they together, laugh and pray for each other. These studentsprepared for death, and families as they said goodbye to come together and offer themselves to each other withloved ones. I have also prayed this prayer with young beautiful vulnerability and then pray some of the oldestpeopleinNashville,andVCUstudentsonZoom.I prayers in the Christian tradition. What a gift.would love to pray with you. It was reflecting on these experiences that led us as a staffThis is one of the gifts of our tradition and it is why we to encourage our 2022 confirmation students to praycall it the Book of Common Prayer. Common doesnt Compline once a week with their families. And now wemean its basic or boring, but it does mean that we all want to extend that invitation to you during Lent. In thehold it together in common; so as we pray these prayers back of this newsletter, you will find a simplified form oftogether, we join each other in a real and tangible way. the Compline liturgy and some suggested scriptures toWejointhesaintsthroughtheages,Confirmation accompany it. You are also invited to join parishionersstudents preparing for Pentecost, Benedictine monks in on Wednesdays to pray Compline at 8:00pm. the 4th century, Simeon in the temple, and Jesus, as he Compline invites us to pray some of the most ancientprayed the Psalms on which Compline is based. prayers our church has been given, rooted in the PsalmsPlease,joinusthisLentasweholdtheseprayersin andtheearlyBenedictinepatternofprayer.Itisacommon together. simple and accessible way to enter into the rhythm of prayer we call the Daily Office. Compline gives thoseKyle Bomar, Youth and Adult Formation MinisterLENT & HOLY WEEK 2022 | 9'